Phoenix upstart punk rock band, The Blankz could very well be the clown princes (and Princess) of punk. Their debut track, “White Baby” is the true to life story of singer, Tommy Blank who as a young baby was adopted by a Hispanic family. He’s gone through life not knowing who your parents were! This first release by The Blankz can best be described as a percolating a hyperactive cartoon hardcore colored with a noticeable bit of “Old School” L.A. Punk. Their debit E.P., “White Baby” w/ B-side “Sissy Glue” was produced by Meat Puppets bass player, Cris Kirkwood and released by Phoenix, AZ. punk label… Slope Records…
All their songs are frantically fast and very short (A duration of under two minutes) and no more than three chords! “White Baby” has goofball lyrics that are semi-intelligible with chuckle-some metaphors. Add to the equation… some pretty lethal surf keyboards… done by Nikki Blank ( Oh, they’re not married.. all the members have Blank as their last name).The Blankz style in addition to their infantile humor removed them from the artlessly disheveled, fashionably dour stance of bands like the Germs and Weirdos. I would be remiss if I didnt remind people that anyone that tells you that they’re trying to change the world through punk rock – especially from the West Coast – is full of shit. I mean, how bad can your problems be.. Is there anything else that a band needs to write about Trumpism??? Remember all the talk about the “great wall” between Mexico and the U.S. “White Baby” says it all!
In contrast to British punk bands, The Blankz are intentionally offensive and mindfully inspired by trashy movies joined with pop savant camp…If anything they are an entertaining romp by transforming arena rock chords with bubble gum pop… basically The Ramones crossed with L.A. comedic hardcore greats The Dickies.
The Dickies, formed in 1977 and perhaps the world’s longest-running punk band, are still needling the rich rock stars who came before them. Stan Lee and singer Leonard Graves Phillips formed the band with the idea that the Clash were too political and serious and they much preferred the cartoonish entertainment value of forebears like the Ramones and the Damned. Phillips has a high, nasally voice, and Lee’s ringing guitar chords complemented his style. At first they did fast-and-loud covers of rock classics like Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid”, and The Moody Blues’, “Nights In White Satan” but over time they began writing quick, subversive masterpieces like “Manny, Moe and Jack” and “I’m Stuck In A Pagoda With Tricia Toyota”. It wasn’t all laughs for the Dickies..Drug problems slowed them down considerably in the 1980s; but they have continued playing and recording sporadically to the present day. Guitarist, Chuck Wagon committed suicide in 1981 and drummer, Jonathan Melvoin passed from a heroin overdose….
I got a chance to have an exclusive interview with Tommy Blank…